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Columns
MacGregor Redux

"Hey, where's Stinky?" "Mmmphrgbl?" "Stinky!" "Phbbmmrrggnndr." "Didn't your mama ever teach you not to talk with your mouth ...



Departments
From the Editor - Mar/Apr 2014

In a few days I will plant my first tomato seed. Planting always makes me happy, whether it’s planting bulbs in the fall, ...



Spotlights
A New Twist on Terrariums

They’re back, just in time for holiday decorating and gift giving! Terrariums, that is. They’ve recently made a big comeback…



Columns
Beyond Extreme Makeovers

Well, here we are again. Funny how Jan. 1st rolls around about this time every year. It's almost a pattern.



Columns
A Letter From the Garden Abyss

I am writing to reach out to humanity, if there is anyone left as of May 1. If you find this note, please take it to the ...


questions

I am going to be planting five dwarf fruit trees; two ‘Bartlett’ pears, one ‘Cresthaven’ peach, and two ‘Honeycrisp’ apples. Could you give me some feedback on them?

Is it possible to plant and grow Italian cypress in the Chicago area? Are our winters too severe for it? If they are, is there an alternative conifer that will provide a similar look?

I have a nicely sheltered, rounded 7-foot tall Japanese red maple on the southeast corner of my backyard. Half of the tree has lost its leaves, the formerly red bark is turning gray, and a good-sized square of bark has been stripped off on the side that faces the yard. I sprayed the exposed bark with black pruning spray to close any entry for insects. I have not cut off any of the branches.

Does the winter have any effect on the tree? Should I look for some insect infestation? What should I do now?